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What is Minimalist Photography Anyway?

Posted by Jacob Hawthorne on

We’ve all heard of minimalism. It’s a way of life that is built around creating more with less. Fewer items make for more space, more money (since you don’t spend extra purchasing a lot of stuff) and a deep sense of calm.

Minimalism can also be integrated into art forms. Minimalist art will not have a lot going on, but it will be thought provoking in its simplicity.

Photography is an art form that uses minimalism making for meaningful shots that say a lot with a little. If you would like to experiment, here are some tips that will help you get the effect you are going for.

Keep It Simple

To take a minimalist photo, you won’t want to add too much to the frame. On the other hand, you won’t want to take so much away as to cause the image to lose impact. Finding the perfect balance takes a bit of practice.

Negative Space is Your Friend

Negative space refers to the space around and between the subject or subjects of an image. With minimalist photography being so sparce, you may be dealing with more negative space than subject. That’s fine, but you must be careful to achieve a balance so that you don’t lose the subject entirely. When taking a photograph, make sure the eye is able to find the subject.   You can also enhance the look of your image by using negative space that incorporates texture and color.

The Power of Composition

Composition may be the most important part of minimalist photography. Place your subject against negative space positioning it in a way that is appealing to the eye. This will help the viewer focus on the subject. You can also use the rule of thirds which involves dividing the picture by using three horizontal lines and three vertical lines. Your subject should fit into one of the intersections.

If the composition of your photo isn’t right, you may be able to fix it in post with a simple horizontal flip.

Isolation is Key

A minimalist photo will look more dramatic if you make it appear as if your subject is isolated. Therefore, you will want to remove any distracting images from the scene. You will also want to experiment with angles and perspective to get the best shot possible. When going for isolation, it is best to use a shallow depth of field that will separate the background from the subject. Bokeh can also be used to add subtlety to the background.

Add Subtle Bursts of Color

Minimalist photography is often black and white but select pops of color can really bring the images to life. Keep in mind that the black and white tones you use should have the right amount of contrast.

Take Advantage of Lines and Shapes

Lines and shapes can work well in a minimalist image. The lines should lead the viewer’s eye to where it should be while maximizing effects of isolation, separation, distance and space. Shapes can make pictures more abstract. Repetition, patterns, strong shadows and geometry can be particularly effective in making the image eye catching.

Minimalist photography is a trend that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. The tips in this article will help you achieve a simple look that is meaningful and captivating. What do you do to create interest in parred down images?

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